Variety is the spice of life for Rush

Rush owner Aaron Bode sits on the patio as New Ulm’s downtown sprawls out behind him. He said the main focus for Rush in 2024 will be their unique elevated outdoor patio seating.

NEW ULM — Since opening in August of 2023, Rush restaurant owner Aron Bode said they have unknowingly started filling a niche for their customers.

“We went from having 150 seats down to 44,” he said. We’ve become a date night spot. People come on the weekends. We’re hoping with spring or summer when we open the patio, everybody comes up casually and it’s no longer just a date night spot. It becomes a place to come all the time.”

Rush offers a variety of pastas, pizzas, and other items. Bode said they change their menu regularly, bringing in new ideas and items to keep everything fresh and innovative. Their most recent change has been making their own kettle chips.

With brainstorming new ideas being a staple of their workplace, Bode identified Rush’s continuous push for innovation as “kitchen boredom”.

“It’s not boredom by any means,” he said. “We want to keep pushing into things we don’t know how to make. We get an idea and we’re like, ‘We should do that. We should put that on the menu. We should see if it works.’ We keep pushing with constantly rotating new ideas.”

Bode stands behind the restaurant counter, where his crew works to bring out a variety of dishes. He said they work to change up their menu often, providing a fresh experience each time.

Above all, Bode said he wants Rush to be a new experience for people whenever they come.

“It’s going to be an ever-changing restaurant,” he said. “We’ve never run a full summer with the patio so it’s going to feel like a completely brand new restaurant.”

Rush stands on the second floor of 126 N Minnesota St., above The Franklin. This consists of both an indoor and outdoor dining area. During the winter, they set up an inflatable igloo outside for people who wanted an alternative food and drink experience. With all of the changes and additions Rush has had, Bode said it has been a success.

“They like it a lot,” he said. “We have a lot of people coming from Mankato, which is awesome. We have a lot of local people as well. They’re receptive to it.”

Bode said the business community has also been receptive to Rush. He said the downtown businesses thrive in working with and supporting each other.

As the weather stays warmer than average, Bode said they’ve started to wind down the igloo and began opening their patio seating. While currently they only have five patio tables, Bode said they will expand this when they remove the igloo for good. Bringing this unique dining experience to customers consistently is the biggest focus Bode identified for 2024.

“We plan on hitting the patio super hard,” he said. “We’re gonna try some type of structure outside on the patio for the sun and rain so we can operate all days. Then we’re going to come up with a whole brand new line of cocktails just specific to the patio.”


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